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Trade Idea: Rip Hamilton could give the Toronto Raptors needed scoring and Jose Calderon could give the Detroit Pistons stable point guard play


Pistons receive:

  • Jose Calderon (10.3 points, 2.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.7 steals)
  • Reggie Evans (3.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.5 steals)

Raptors receive:

  • Rip Hamilton (18.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.7 steals)
  • Chris Wilcox (4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.4 steals)


Data from ShamSports.com

Pistons receive:

Player 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Jose Calderon $9,000,000 $9,780,992 $10,561,983 $0 $0
Reggie Evans $5,080,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total $14,080,000 $9,780,992 $10,561,983 $0 $0

Raptors receive:

Player 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Rip Hamilton $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $0 $0
Chris Wilcox $3,000,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total $15,500,000 $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $0 $0
  • Fully unguaranteed if waived on or before Aug. 15, 2012

Pistons’ perspective

Unlike many people out there, I don’t believe it’s imperative that the Pistons trade Rip Hamilton. But in the event that they do, I also don’t believe that a comparably talented big man is coming back in return. There really just aren’t many out there who would help.

Even an all-baggage team guy like Zach Randolph, who is again having some off-the-court problems, is not a guy who can easily be obtained. He has an always valuable expiring contract and Memphis has Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo on the perimeter, so Hamilton probably isn’t high on their wish list.

So if a good big man is likely out of the question, and if Hamilton is dealt, the Pistons should try to net a competent point guard in return. Calderon is a great shooter — nearly 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the line for his career. He’s very steady running an offense with nearly a 4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio for his career. And if you have any doubts that the Pistons could use a more willing passer in the backcourt, just compare Calderon’s assist percentage (assists per 100 possessions) to the Pistons’ guards last season: Will Bynum led Detroit at 28.2 percent. Rodney Stuckey, who played the bulk of the team’s PG minutes, was at 24.7 percent. Calderon’s was at 33.8 percent last year, and that was the worst mark he had since his rookie season. His two previous seasons in Toronto, he was over 40 percent.

He does have downsides. Namely, he’s pretty terrible defensively, although you have to admire the way he didn’t get rattled when Kevin Garnett was pulling his annual ‘pick on men much smaller than me’ tricks a year ago. Replacing Hamilton with Calderon undoubtedly makes the Pistons backcourt a little worse defensively, but with Stuckey’s progression as a defender a year ago, the benefits Calderon will bring to the offense might be worth it.

The other piece in the trade is Evans, who has an expiring contract. But while that is the most appealing part of what Evans brings, he might also fill a need. The Pistons have been searching for a veteran big man in free agency. I have my doubts they’ll be able to find one — veteran bigs tend to be in demand and tend to end up chasing rings on good teams. Detroit, as a rebuilding project with serious roster questions, doesn’t fit that mold, so getting a guy like Evans, a hard-nosed (Chris Kaman may describe him differently) hustle player and rebounder, via trade might be the best bet for Detroit. Evans has injury concerns, but if he’s semi-healthy, he’d be an adequate presence off the bench for Detroit.

Raptors’ perspective

Since I have impeccable timing, I began writing this post the day before Calderon was reportedly traded to Charlotte. I sent out e-mails to the guys at Raptors Republic, asking for their take on whether or not this was an offer they could see the team be interested in. Then, about a half hour after sending, it was reported that Calderon-to-Charlotte was official, so my first PistonPowered trade idea post looked ruined.

But shortly after the reports, Michael Jordan perhaps sensibly thought pairing a defensively challenged PG signed long-term with Larry Brown was not the best match, and backed out of the Calderon deal.

The general consensus in Raptors land is that GM Bryan Colangelo is pretty clearly looking for salary relief (the Charlotte deal would’ve been for expiring contract Tyson Chandler) in any deal for Calderon, which makes my little Hamilton scenario a bit more far-fetched, but two of the guys from Raptors Republic had brief replies when they thought Calderon was headed out of town to Charlotte. Here were the responses I got:

"I don’t think the Raptors would have any interest whatsoever in Rip Hamilton since we have two guys in Weems and DeRozan that are being bandied about as the future here.  Hamilton’s contract is very similar to Turkoglu’s, if not worse, and I just don’t see Colangelo taking that on."

And …

"I would have liked to get Richard Hamilton truth be told, but getting Diaw and Barbosa looks to be a better fit (given the euro style we want to play)."

My response

I disagree vehemently with the Turkoglu comparison. Contract-wise, Turkoglu is signed for one more year than Hamilton (he has a player option for 2013-14). He also appears to be rapidly declining and had a lousy season in Toronto. Hamilton is still a 20 points per game scorer, efficient and keeps himself in great shape. There’s no question that his contract is a much better value than Turkoglu’s.

That being said, I can certainly appreciate that Toronto wouldn’t be looking to add long-term deals or guys who would play in front of their promising Weems/DeRozan combo. I’m not sure a team is willingly going to give the Raps a starting center with an expiring contract for a solid but flawed and fairly expensive PG like Calderon now that the Chandler trade fell through, however.

The Verdict

There probably wouldn’t be much interest in this trade by either team, but as I’ve pointed out, I view the Pistons’ current personnel better suited to run a more free-wheeling offense, and a point guard like Calderon would go a long way toward making them a more exciting team to watch.


  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PistonPowered Feed, Patrick Hayes. Patrick Hayes said: Fun with the trade machine: Rip Hamilton for Jose Calderon anyone? http://tinyurl.com/29c2fxq #nba #pistons #raptors [...]

  • Jul 19, 20103:11 pm
    by brgulker


    Interesting idea. I’ve got three friendly critiques.
    First, I don’t see how trading one overpaid middling guard for another overpaid middling guard really helps us (unless we’re getting back a friendlier contract, which in this case, we’re really not), regardless of how badly we need a PG — and I think we do need one. We have no long-term plan at C (I regard Monroe as an unproven question mark whose future is probably at PF anyway), and we currently have five guards under contract after White signs. I fail to see how committing additional long-term assets to the backcourt makes any sense under those circumstances.
    Second, Rip has only averaged 20 ppg twice in his career. Pistons fans and writers seem to throw around the 20 ppg number quite freely, which is always puzzling to me because it’s not actually true. 20 ppg scorers are rare in the NBA, and touting Rip as one wrongly inflates his value
    Third, in addition to skewing Rip’s scoring, you’re glossing over Rip’s decline while highlighting Turkoglu’s. Rip’s contract is bad. Rip is declining. $12+ million for a 32 year old shooting guard who only played in 46 games last season while shooting barely over 40% from the field?  I don’t intend to be trite or rude here, but only a Pistons fan would argue that Rip’s contract is a better value (if Turk is really willing to renegotiate that trade kicker, which reportedly he is). Both are old but can still contribute, but neither will earn their contracts in the final seasons.

    • Jul 19, 20103:57 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Haha. You hate Rip.

      - It’s a bit friendlier contract. The Pistons would save $9 million over the life of the three-year deals.

      - You’re right. But he averaged 19.8 and 19.7, which is close enough for my purposes, so that’s really four seasons at 20 a game. And the Pistons have usually played at a slower pace than most teams and shots were distributed pretty evenly among Rip, Billups and, to some extent, Sheed, during his career. On top of that, he’s only averaged about 34 minutes a game for his Detroit career. Compare that to, say, Joe Johnson, who’s only averaged 21 a game the last three seasons playing 39-40 minutes a game, shooting 18 times a game, and I’ll take Rip’s 18ish points on 15 shots any day.

      - Re: Turkoglu — dude shot 41 percent each of the last two years. He scored 16.8 per game his last season in Orlando despite playing 38 minutes a game. He’s only a year younger than Rip. He’s always been a liability on defense while Rip is, at worst, average defensively. There were major questions about Hedo’s conditioning last season. Rip’s never had those questions. Hedo is only one year younger than Rip.

      Hamilton had a poor season last year, no doubt. But he also had an assortment of injuries, the team overall had issues figuring out how to utilize its players, etc. Decline is certainly a possibility, but I’m not ready to say that he’s “rapidly declining” just yet. He keeps himself in shape and with a game that is more predicated on movement and hitting a reliable jumpshot than athleticism, he’s built to be a solid player well into his 30s.

      Hamilton’s contract is only bad because they also have Ben Gordon’s contract. To have $12 million invested in a starting shooting guard isn’t that bad. I just don’t see a reason to believe he’ll have another season shooting at 40 percent.


      • Jul 19, 20104:23 pm
        by brgulker


        Joe Johnson has the worst contract in the league, bar none. If that’s the point of comparison, then I think the only team in the league that would disagree is ATL.
        The pace and shot distribution argument is fair, and I’m by no means attacking your (or anyone else’s) journalistic integrity. But to argue the flip side of that coin, presumably, any of our other potential trade partners (contending teams looking to add a piece, which isn’t Toronto) wouldn’t be looking for Rip to shoot more than he has in his career, just the opposite. And to be completely honest, I have a hard time seeing anyone other than a team looking to add that last piece taking a shot on Rip.
        But now I’m comparing apples and oranges, I guess. Your proposal was TOR, so as far as that goes, your pace argument is a good refutation I think.
        Re: Turk, I’m not arguing he’s a great player. He’s useful in the right system, as is Rip. But, unlike Rip, Turk’s been legitimately involved in trade talks, as in there was a trade in place to move him, contract and all. Unfortunately, we can’t say that about Rip.
        Prior to last season, I would have agreed with you about Rip’s durability, but he missed far too many games to minor injuries. As bodies age, they take longer to heal. Any GM knows that, and any GM is looking closely at Rip’s last season in that regard. If he’s healthy come February and has been all season, maybe those questions are answered (I hope so!), and our pool of trading partners gets a little deeper.

        • Jul 19, 20109:45 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          I don’t disagree with most of what you say. But part of the reason there was a deal for Turk is because he openly wanted out of Toronto, and the team was less-than-thrilled with some of his off-court antics (sitting out a game because he was “sick”, only to have pictures of him partying at a nightclub the night before surface will do that). They didn’t get much for him — Barbosa was the primary piece, and he’s had two poor seasons in a row.
          The other thing Toronto was trying to do was clear minutes for DeMar DeRoZaN (not sure how many capital letters are in that name) and Sonny Weems, who they see as keys to their future.
          If Dumars wanted to trade Hamilton just to be rid of him, he easily could. But it seems more prudent to wait. If Hamilton bounces back, his value is only going to go up. If he doesn’t bounce back, they can still do a Turkoglu-like trade where they get less talent in return but clear a spot in their lineup for someone else. Not sure they are at the point where they feel like things can’t work with Rip yet.

  • Jul 19, 20105:18 pm
    by nuetes


    I’m going to have to decline this offer. It’s not too bad, but I’m not a big fan of trading one bad deal for another, unless that player is exceptionally useful. Would you start Calderon? And if so what about Gordon and Stuckey?
    I guess my biggest problem with this deal is that unlike brgulker I actually think Rip is a good player. I don’t take much stock in the injuries he suffered last year. I’m not writing him off as an aging fragile player yet. I’m to the point now where I think I’m content with what Dumars is doing here. Maybe I’ve lost the fire to complain anymore about it. The trade market doesn’t seem all that favorable for the Pistons, and if it takes some time for it to turn I have no problem waiting anymore. I want good value. Its going to take smart calculated moves to get out of this situation, if it can be done.

    • Jul 19, 20109:49 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      As I said above, this deal would save the Pistons about $9 million over the next three years.
      And yeah, I think Calderon would start, along with Stuckey. Gordon would remain in that super-sub role, hopefully with more minutes since Rip is traded, Stuckey becomes a 1-2 hybrid who plays significant minutes at the 2, but can slide over to the 1 as well, and with Calderon, the Pistons have a solid starting-caliber player who would not only contribute now, but would be insurance since the team has yet to decide whether it’s going to make a long-term commitment to Stuckey yet.

  • Jul 19, 20106:35 pm
    by natron3030


    Ahoy Patrick,
    Interesting…  trade idea.
    I got a few of my own…
    2 trades I would like the pistons to make.

    Trade 1

    Trade partner: Utah 

    Trade: Hamilton + Wilcox for Kirlenko.


    Why the pistons do it~

    1) Massive expiring contract next year. They could even agree (behind the scenes) to buy out Kirlenko and allow him to go back to the jazz for the minimum.

    Why the jazz do it~

    1) They need a SG bad and Hamilton would be a great fit in the half court offense Utah runs. 
    2) A bigger reason for them to do this trade is that it takes over 2 million off the books and since they are far into the lux tax its actually closer to 5 mill.
    3) It’s clear they want to win now since they traded away 2 first round picks.
    4) Kirlenko always gets hurt and the Jazz still did damage in the playoffs without him.

    Trade 2

    Trade partner: Orlando

    Trade: Prince for Gortat and Pietrus


    Why the Pistons do it~

    1) Gortat is a young developing center with potential still.
    2) Free up space for young guys.
    3) Petrius has an expiring contract (might just buy him out).

    Why Orlando does it~

    1) They feel the need to add to their team to counter Miami.
    2) Princes expiring contract.
    3) Gortat has been vocal about not wanting to be in Orlando stuck behind Howard.

    From that point the pistons need to squeek into the playoffs and prove that they are on the rise again to any FAs that they could lure with the kirlenko money

    • Jul 19, 20109:55 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Both of your trades would help Detroit, no doubt.
      A couple potential problems:
      - Orlando lost Matt Barnes, a very good perimeter defender. With Wade and James both in Miami, perimeter defense is huge. Tayshaun Prince is theoretically a good defender, but I’m not sure he’s better than Pietrus right now. Wade and James both had big playoff series earlier in the decade with Prince guarding them. Plus, Pietrus is a better three-point shooter, and Orlando relies on having four guys around Dwight at all times who are knock-down shooters. Maybe if the trade was made with the more and more common wink-wink agreement that a player will be traded, released and then re-signed by the trading team, this would be more plausible.
      - Utah is pretty thin up front. They did get Al Jefferson, but they lost Boozer, traded Koufos and may lose Fesenko (restricted FA). Kirilenko was at his best when he was playing the four, before they got Boozer, and he can potentially move back there now.
      Your trades are definitely fair though.

  • Jul 19, 20106:56 pm
    by PICKEL


    Jose Calderon, HA. Yo boy AI has a better chance at signing with the Pistons.

  • Jul 19, 20109:34 pm
    by oracle


    Calderon’s contract might be slightly smaller, but it’s also fully guaranteed in the final year.  Rip might be slightly more expensive, but he’s a better scorer and a better defender, and he’ll have more value in trades since his contract could be bought out for savings in 2 years.
    given Calderon’s terrible defense and bad contract, I’d say no.  The team might get more movement offensively, but it just isn’t worth it to me on defense.

    • Jul 19, 201010:06 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Hamilton’s the better player in the trade, no doubt. But Calderon is a solid, starting-caliber pure PG offensively, and those are pretty rare. He’s also an exceptional shooter who would help with spacing, which was a major issue last season.
      And as for defense, yeah, Rip’s a solid defensive player. But looking at the Pistons current roster, how many guys would you say are solid defensively? Wallace, Rip, Stuckey and (situationally) Prince? Jerebko hustles, but has defensive issues at the three and four spots. The Pistons are built to be an offensive team. Doesn’t mean I think there will be a philosophical shift in the organization to embrace what their personnel says they are, but at this point, Calderon might be a better fit than Rip, regardless of who is the better of the two.

      • Jul 19, 201011:59 pm
        by nuetes


        Patrick, this response is where I have a fundamental disagreement with your take. I want them to remain true to the identity that got them their previous championships. I’m not for abandoning any thought of defense just because the team only happens to have about 3 players that want to play it. So yes, Calderon works under your premise, but I’m not so sure that is the direction to take. Do I think they might be more successful next season if they choose to open it up? Yes. But I don’t see that as either the organizations, Dumars, or Kuesters philosophy. The personnel doesn’t fit the organization. I’d rather see them get new personnel than change the philosophy even if thats a more difficult task at this point. You can’t win with a soft team.
        Stay put and wait for something better. This isn’t good enough. If nothing better comes along then make the salary dump move, don’t handcuff yourself in a different way.

      • Jul 20, 20104:25 pm
        by oracle


        in my opinion, Rip is the better player with the better contract.  He doesn’t fit on our team very well, but I don’t think Calderon does either.
        Rip’s contract will have the same amount of money on it every year, but since it’s only partially guaranteed, it can almost be treated as an expiring after next year.
        Calderon’s contract will look just as bad or worse every year until it’s expiring after 2 more years.  Even though he averaged a ton of assists, I’m wary of his skills.  He had a big dropoff last year, they brought in another ball-handler in Turkoglu after Calderon had a career year, and now it seems like they put Calderon on the block because he isn’t worth his contract.
        I’m okay with trading Rip for a less skilled player, maybe even one with a bad contract too, but I’d rather it be a big man.

  • [...] Piston Powered Trade [...]

  • Jul 20, 20108:41 am
    by gmehl1977


    Patrick I cant see Toronto doing that trade due to the fact that they would then have Hamilton, DeRozen, Weems, Barbosa and Belinelli who are shooting guards. I suppose DeRozen & Barbosa could play SF but you get my point. What do you think about a Hamilton/draft pick for Okafor/Collison deal?
    Also with the impending lockout predicted after next season, do you think that Joe might hold on to Rip if no good offers come up. Hamilton’s contract which has 3 years remaining at $37.5m with the 3rd year being only partially guaranteed. Say next season is played out and finished and then the lockout takes place and with Hamilton’s 3rd year only being partially guarunteed his trade value will be looking just as good as what Dampier’s was. I might be taking a stab in the dark but this might be why Joe is holding on to him. If no good offers are proposed then maybe it;s better to keep him and try and trade him after the lockout.

    • Jul 20, 201010:10 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      It’s a plausible scenario, but keep in mind, Dallas didn’t get much for Dampier despite the value of his contract. They got Chandler, coming off two straight injury-plagued seasons. He’s a useful piece to a contender, but not a missing piece for an up-and-coming team, which I assume the Pistons are looking for more than solid role players.
      As for the Okafor/Collison deal, I can’t see N.O. doing that. Rip doesn’t really fit there with Marcus Thornton ready to play big minutes at the two, and if it’s strictly a salary dump for them to try and get rid of Okafor’s deal, I think other teams would give more if N.O. were willing to deal Collison.
      And in Toronto, your point is well taken, but Weems did play primarily small forward last year, and Barbosa and Bellinelli don’t appear to be in long-term plans there. Looking at the Raptors lineup, they really don’t have anyone who is a proven scorer other than Bargnani, and Hamilton would help in that regard.

  • Jul 20, 201010:30 am
    by Eric


    Got a typo son: Nuggets receive
    Since when did Denver get involved in this trade? We getting Afflalo back?

  • Jul 20, 20104:27 pm
    by oracle


    Dan, just a suggestion, but the comments section really needs to be reformatted.  It’s nigh impossible to read when people reply to eachother.

  • Jul 20, 20105:45 pm
    by Josh


    Point guard and big men are the Pistons most obvious weaknesses.  While I like the idea of trading Hamilton for a point guard, I don’t think taking on Calderon makes sense.  Personally, I would prefer them to target Raymond Felton, free agent, for their point guard woes and try to trade Rip or Prince for more help down low.  This summer has been too quiet for the Pistons, and they are beyond due to make a move.

  • Jul 21, 201012:42 am
    by Dan Feldman


    Gulker, to a small point you made, I think Monroe’s long-term position is center. I think he’s much more likely to get strong than he is to become explosive enough to cover the many dynamic power forwards in the league. Offensively, a quicker power forward who can cut and hit a jumper is more likely to complement him than a big center.

  • Jul 21, 201012:47 am
    by Dan Feldman


    Natron, those are two of the most reasonable trade posts I’ve seen here (including my own). I think Utah would be more likely to approve than Orlando. Maybe the Magic would be more likely if they included Brandon Bass instead of Gortat.

  • Jul 21, 201012:55 am
    by Dan Feldman


    Nuetes, as far as the identity of the team, I agree with you 100 percent. I want — and will always want — the Pistons to be defense first. But on a certain level, it makes sense to go after premier offensive players.

    For the same physical reasons many offensive player excel, they could excel on defense. It’s often for mental reasons, they don’t.

    The physical reasons a player excels on defense are far less likely to mean he’s capable of being successfully offensively.

    Now, you could certainly argue the Pistons signed too many offense-first guys who were were too offensively focused. I’d probably agree. But that doesn’t mean a defense-first team is never wise to after an offense-first player.

    Calderon for Hamilton would probably hurt Detroit’s defense next year. But like you said, maybe it would make the team better. As I’ve said many times, making the team better will increase the trade value of everyone on it. Then, maybe you can make a trade that helps the defense directly more than any Hamilton-trade possibility at the moment. (Plus, it’s possible Calderon figures out how to translate the physical gifts he displays on offense to defense.)

  • Jul 21, 201010:54 am
    by dave


    We were a defense first team…but lets face it – the leauge doesn’t let you play “D” anymore except for blocked shots! Is it just by chance or did the leauge change the defensive rules after every Pistons championship?  Stern wants this to be an offensive league and I can see what Joe’s plans are.  He drafted an offensive Center (Cousins – if he were available would have also fit the offensive bill down-low).  The present team has 6 players that can go for 30+ on any given night! If we stay healthy, I belive this team could quite a few teams – Pistons 7th seed in the east if they remain healthy.  The only trade that may happen is a midseason one – after JoeD has a chance to see his experiment under healthy conditions.

  • Jul 21, 20101:47 pm
    by Tmoney


    Can we still trade Allen Iverson back to the Nuggets for Chauncey and Arron Affalo?

  • Jul 21, 20106:11 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    I think the Spurs get credit for some of the rule changes as well.
    Afflalo wasn’t part of the Billups trade. He was traded separately for a future pick.

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